Appearance: The most popular mushroom. Whites represent about 90% of mushrooms consumed in the United States.
Flavor: A fairly mild taste and blend well with almost anything. Their flavor intensifies when cooked.
Preparation: Sautéed, cooked, or enjoyed raw in salads.
Uses: Everything from pizza and pasta, to quesadillas and cheeseburgers.
Appearance: Baby portabellas, similar in appearance to whites, but have a light tan to rich brown cap and a firmer texture.
Flavor: A deeper, earthier flavor than whites.
Preparation: Sauté, broil, microwave or cook almost any way.
Uses: Their hearty, fullbodied taste makes them an excellent addition to beef, wild game an vegetable dishes.
Appearance: A larger relative of crimini, they have tan or brown caps and measure up to six inches in diameter.
Flavor: A deep, meat-like texture and flavor.
Preparation: Can be grilled, broiled, or roasted and served as appetizers, entrees, or side dishes.
Uses: Their hearty taste and texture makes them a flavorful vegetarian alternative—grill and serve them as “burgers” on toasted buns.
Appearance: Tiny, button-shaped caps and long spindly stems.
Flavor: Mild tasting and crunchy.
Preparation: Before using, trim roots at cluster base. Separate stems before serving.
Uses: Try raw in salads and sandwiches. Or use them as an ingredient in soups, such as a stock made with soy sauce and tofu.
Appearance: Can be grey, pale yellow, or even blue, with a velvety texture.
Flavor: Oysters have a very delicate flavor.
Preparation: Sauté with butter and onions to bring out their flavor.
Uses: Try over linguine with sliced steak and red peppers, sprinkled with grated Parmesan cheese.
Appearance: Tan-dark brown with broad, umbrella shaped caps, wide open veils, tan gills, and curved stems.
Flavor: Rich and woodsy when cooked.
Preparation: Cook before eating.
Uses: They add a meaty flavor and texture to stir fry, pastas, soups, entrees and sides.
Appearance: Appear rippling and fan-shaped, without caps. They are also called “Hen of the Woods.”
Flavor: Maitake have a distinctive aroma and a rich, woodsy taste.
Preparation: Sauté lightly in butter or oil.
Uses: For a richer, taste, in any recipe calling for mushrooms, use maitakes.They can be a main dish ingredient, or used in side dishes and soups.
Some mushroom lovers enjoy searching the woods for prized wild mushroom varieties of mushrooms, such as morels, truffles and chanterelles. Because there are thousands of varieties of inedible and poisonous mushrooms, it’s important to never eat wild mushrooms without the guidance of a trained mycologist, or mushroom expert. Poisonous mushrooms often resemble non-poisonous mushrooms, so it’s best to purchase commercially grown mushrooms. If you want to try wild varieties, be sure you only eat those purchased from a trusted retailer or served in a restaurant.
Suggested Flavor Pairings
For Whites, Crimini and Portabellas:
Allspice, Balsamic, Basil, Cardamom, Chives,Cilantro, Coriander, Creole Seasoning, Chipotles, Curry, Garam Masala, Horseradish, Harissa, Herbes de Provence, Marjoram, Montreal Steak Seasoning, Olive Oil, Oregano, Tellicherry Pepper, Pestos, Red Wine, Rosemary, Sea Salts, Shallots, Soy Sauce, Spanish Smoked Paprika, Tandoori Seasoning, Tarragon, Thyme, White Wine, Worcestershire Sauce
For Shiitake, Oysters and Maitake:
Almonds, Bean Paste, Bonito Flakes, Char Siu Sauce, Celery Root, Chinese 5-Spice, Coconut Milk, Red and Green Curry Paste, Fennel, Galangal, Garam Masala, Ginger, Hoisin Sauce, Lavender, Lemon Peel, Lemongrass, Lemon-Verbena, Miso, Mint, Pine Nuts, Pink Peppercorns, Rice Vinegar, Sesame Seeds, Saffron, Scallions, Sesame Oil, Light/Dark Soy Sauce, Szechuan Peppercorns, Sake, Shallots, Star Anise, Tamarind Paste, Taro Root, Tarragon, Thai Curry, Yuzu